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martin luther king’s legacy


One of my favorite MLK books

Here is a powerful piece
published in 2011 by Hamden Rice,
about what his father urged him to see
as Dr. King’s greatest legacy:

not the big speeches and marches,
nor the integration of schools, lunch counters, and buses
nor even the fact that he inspired many white folks
to play “nicer and fairer.”

No, for Hamden Rice and his father,
Martin Luther King’s greatest legacy
was to “end the terror of living as a black person”
in a country where random acts of brutal and sadistic violence
(in the form of lynching, rape, or savage beating)
could be committed against you, any time,
and you had to live with that terrifying possibility,
every day.

What did liberation from this type of terror require?
I can’t do justice to Hamden Rice’s eloquence,
so I invite you to read his words directly,
and feel what he is saying.
It’s real, sobering, and heart-opening.

January 21, 2014
Martin Luther King’s day.

Hamden Rice’s original post
was published in Daily Kos,
on August 29, 2011

Lynching Map